Teacher Grants Will Bring Creative Materials to PUSD Classrooms

Denise Johnson, Monique Garza, Cynthia Kim and Candace Montesanti-Griego of Webster ElementaryElizabeth Holle, Eduardo Chenu and Rita Exposito of Jackson ElementaryElizabeth Rauch, Candice Horn, Beverly Grotts and Kaiulani Sallas of Jefferson ElementaryGina Hernandez, Jacqueline Gonzalez, Cynthia Macias, and Merina Myklak with Coordinated Early Intervention ServicesJarratt Brunson Award winner Kaiulani Sallas of Jefferson Elementary with Joan Fauvre, on the Teacher Grant Committee 2ndJon Gundry, PUSD SuperintendentRegina Marie Jeffers and Christine Jackson of Wilson Middle SchoolSuzanne York, Rebecca Bickel, Carolyn Halpern, and Lisa  Prado of Sierra Madre ElementaryVivian Alfonso, Victoria Camargo, Regina Mafor, and Lila Schob of Altadena Elementary SchoolWilliam Thomson, Pasadena Educational Foundation Board President


3:49 pm | January 23, 2014

DNA kits, sheet music, cookbooks and California native plants for an outdoor classroom are a few of the supplies that will be funded with Pasadena Educational Foundation Teacher Grants which were awarded Wednesday night  at a reception at the Western Justice Center.

$50,000 in grants were awarded to 57 outstanding proposals, representing 86 Pasadena Unified School District (PUSD) educators. Pasadena Educational Foundation has supplied $125 million toward teacher grants in their 43-year existence that has helped thousands of students in Altadena, Pasadena, and Sierra Madre.

A brand new award this year was presented in honor of Jarratt Brunson, one of the founders of the Pasadena Educational Foundation who was responsible for initiating the PEF Teacher Grant Program.

“Jarratt lived it his entire life. He died almost a year ago, but throughout his life he was a PUSD teacher and principal. He was one of the kindest people I have ever met, he was generous with his time, he was a sweet man with crazy jokes He was always devoted to the students, and had a love for Jefferson and reading.”

Kindergarten teacher Kaiulani Sallas of Jefferson Elementary received the first ever Jarratt Brunson Award for her 21st Century Leaners project that will teach her kindergartners how to use critical thinking skills with research books that meet their level. Sallas went to Jefferson and was inspired by Brunson when he was her principal.

“Jarrett was my very first principal when I was five. He greeted each and every student by name every morning. His joy made an impact on me and has carried me throughout my education and still today in my classroom and I promise it will from now on with the kindergartners I teach everyday at Jefferson,” Sallas said.

Her kindergartners are currently working on a butterfly project, so the grant money will be put toward research books about butterflies.

Superintendent Jon Gundry gave “Kudos” to Pasadena Educational Foundation for keeping the working relationship with PUSD for 43 years. The teachers returned his kudos with applause after Gundry announced his efforts to build in better teacher collaboration time during the workday.

“I’m really proud of the teachers embracing this effort. You’re the ones who see the kids everyday eye to eye. You’re in this because you want to do the best thing for kids,” Gundry said.

Grant projects must be student centered, related to the curriculum, and must demonstrate how they will directly benefit students and enhance and improve student achievement. Many of the awarded grants focused in on common core elements, the newest state-wide curriculum that shapes students who think critically, communicate, collaborate, and create and innovate.

A full list of the 2013-14 PEF Teacher Grants can be found online at http://www.pasedfoundation.org/teachers/teacher-grant-program/2014grants